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  1. Sustainability Ensuring the Ability to Live Sustainably on Earth!

  2. Sustainability – A Definition… Sustainability – continued survival – using energy and material resources to maintain survival for the present and the future

  3. Lesson 1 Traditional Energy Sources

  4. Think About It… Which two sources of traditional energy do YOU use the most?

  5. Focus Question… How do we obtain traditional energy sources and what effect does that have on the environment?

  6. Traditional Energy Sources… Wood… • renewable • trees (might include crop residue) • heating and cooking • 1.5 billion people use this energy source • mostly in developing countries • the most ancient form of fuel! • harvesting (collecting from nature)

  7. Traditional Energy Sources… Peat… • renewable • decaying plant matter in bogs • heating • It is dried first • mostly in Ireland, England, N. Europe • also an ancient form of fuel! • harvesting (collecting from nature)

  8. Peat – an early step in coal formation Peat’s got its own journal 

  9. Traditional Energy Sources… Coal… • nonrenewable • fossilized swampy plants • electricity production • burned to heat water to spin the turbines of a generator • USA has more coal than the world has oil! • burning bituminous coal causes air pollution • mining (surface pit or underground)

  10. The Coal Formation Process Modern giant tree fern • Today’s coal formed from prehistoric vegetation that accumulated thousands of years ago when much of the Earth's surface was covered in swamps. As the plants and trees in these swampy areas began to die, their remains sank into the swamp land, which eventually formed a dense material called peat.

  11. The Steps of Coal Formation… Most of the coal burned in the USA is bituminous.

  12. A coal seam exposed by mining

  13. Traditional Energy Sources… Petroleum… • nonrenewable • fossilized plankton • refined for gasoline, mostly • “rock oil” • found in porous sedimentary rocks similar to how groundwater is stored • a mixture of hydrocarbons (H and C) • drilling - oil derricks (land) / oil rigs (offshore)

  14. Petroleum forms from plankton… These are diatoms, a type of phytoplankton These are examples of zooplankton

  15. Two examples of oil derricks Derricks are structures that hold pumps (or drills) used to harvest oil and gas from beneath the ground.

  16. An offshore oil rig

  17. The Shell oil refinery at Martinez, California. The tapering vertical elements are smokestacks to create draft for heating units. Most of the complex vertical units are fractionating towers. Others are flares.

  18. Modern Uses of Petroleum… • Gasoline • Motor Oil • Waxes • Dyes • Plastics • Synthetic Fibers – for example, polyester •

  19. Traditional Energy Sources… Natural Gas… • nonrenewable • fossilized plankton • heating and cooking • found in pockets above petroleum deposits • a mixture of lightweight hydrocarbons • cleanest burning of fossil fuels • drilling – along with petroleum • fracking – “fracturing” rocks to release gas

  20. Natural gas …

  21. Traditional Energy Sources… Uranium… • nonrenewable • sandstone • electricity production • nuclear FISSION produces heat to boil water to spin turbines • about 100 nuclear power plants in USA • produces no carbon emissions but … • produces nuclear waste (spent uranium) • mining

  22. Obtaining Traditional Energy Sources… What effects do the following ways of obtaining energy have on the environment? • Harvesting – has lead to deforestation and resulted in erosion and topsoil loss. • Mining – has lead to the removal of mountaintops and pollution from mounds of waste rock. • Drilling – has lead to oil spills and damage to the environment. See next few slides…

  23. Strip mining coal

  24. Mountaintop Removal What effect does this type of mining have on the environment?

  25. Environmental Impacts of Mining for Coal … a. Surface mining requires the removal of massive amounts of top soil, leading to erosion, loss of habitat and pollution. b. Underground mining causes acid mine drainage, which causes heavy metals to dissolve and seep into ground and surface water.

  26. Mining for Uranium… • Pictured is an open-pit uranium mine in Gas Hills, Wyo., March 1978. • Photo courtesy DOE

  27. Oil Spills… Worker cleans a rock on the beach of Green Island, Alaska, after the Exxon •

  28. Should the USA drill in ANWR? • This is the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. • The debate of whether to drill for petroleum in ANWR is ongoing. •

  29. Lesson 2 Alternative Energy Sources

  30. Think About It… Which alternative energy would work best in Clemmons?

  31. Focus Question… What are the benefits, costs, and environmental impacts of alternative sources of energy?

  32. Solar Energy Produces Electricity in One of Two Ways … Photovoltaic … • When a photovoltaic (PV) panel is exposed to light, electrons in the silicon begin to flow as electricity. • Silicon (from sand) is the material from which a PV cell is made.

  33. Solar Energy Produces Electricity in One of Two Ways … Thermosolar … Thermosolar power stations provide another method for producing electricity. Here is a thermosolar power station in Spain

  34. Solar Energy Solar energy uses energy from the sun. • Benefits –Solar power is clean and quiet! • Disadvantages – It’s expensive! (The main expense is collecting, storing and converting the sun’s rays into useful forms of energy.) • Environmental Impacts - are negligible.

  35. Wave Power Wave power – turbines spin with the motion of rising and falling water, producing electricity. Benefits – Waves are free! Disadvantages – There aren’t always waves! Envt. Impact – Facility may disturb coastal habitats

  36. The Geysers in California … Remember, geo means Earth • Geothermal energy produces electricity when “Earth’s heat” turns water to steam to spin turbines • It can also heat water and homes.

  37. Geothermal Iceland is on the North Atlantic Volcanic Rift Valley, so it is a prime location for using geothermal energy. Over 90% of homes in Iceland are heated with this energy source. Here is the Bjarnarflag Geothermal Station in northeast Iceland.

  38. Geothermal Energy – Use in NC

  39. Geothermal Energy • Benefits – The energy source is free! • Disadvantages • Geographic restrictions – not every place has geothermal energy sources near the surface • The cost of drilling down into hot rocks (as deep as 6 miles!) is very high • Environmental impacts - habitat disturbance and the disposal of large quantities of noxious gases and very salty water.

  40. Wind Power – Old to New! Wind power has been used to pump water for centuries A modern wind turbine produces electricity.

  41. Wind Power Wind mills generate electricity when the wind spins the giant turbines.

  42. Wind Power • Benefits – Wind is free and clean! • Disadvantages – The wind doesn’t always blow! • Environmental Impacts - wind farms can be noisy, unsightly, and can kill migrating birds.

  43. Nuclear Energy Produces Electricity… Nuclear FISSION produces heat to boil water to spin turbines •

  44. Nuclear Energy Fission reactions are used to supply significant amounts of energy for… • Electricity • Heating • Military use- for nuclear submarines!

  45. Nuclear Energy • Benefits… • It produces huge amounts of energy from small amounts of nuclear fuel (uranium and plutonium). • Earth contains enough nuclear fuel to meet all present and future needs.

  46. Nuclear Energy Disadvantages… • Peoples’ fear of exposure to radiation and that nuclear weapons could be developed using this technology • High cost Environmental Impacts… The threat of a meltdown (nuclear explosion) Spent fuel can remain radioactive for thousands of years!

  47. Nuclear Energy • Disposing of this radioactive spent fuel is a major problem. • One proposed disposal site is Yucca Mountain in Nevada. •

  48. Nuclear Energy

  49. Biomass • Biomass includes municipal wastes, crop residues, manure, lumber and paper by-products. • Biomass is “combusted” or burned to heat water to produce electricity.

  50. Biomass • This is switchgrass, a hardy, fast growing plant that can be used as biomass. • It has been called “electicity on a stick!”